The finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Twenty (G20) met in Germany’s Baden-Baden on March 17 and 18.
This meeting marked the first time that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from the new U.S. administration attended a critical meeting in Europe.
After the meeting, a 15-point final report was issued, which was expected to address free trade and avoidance of protective policies on open markets. However, the rejection of protective policies was not included in the final report.
Instead, the final report only said, "We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies. We will strive to reduce excessive global imbalances, promote greater inclusiveness and fairness and reduce inequality in our pursuit of economic growth."
The report, which did not allude to the rejection of trade protection policies, says that monetary policy alone cannot provide a balanced growth. It did state, however that global economic recovery is continuing, but downside risks remain.
The report shows that the United States rejected the wording that prevented protection policies in the country’s economies and consequently, G20 countries were strongly criticized for their lack of decision towards the United States.
The discussions between the finance ministers and central bank governors will also serve as preparation for monetary and financial topics in the annual G20 summit of the heads of state or governments in Hamburg on July 7 and 8. The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will meet again on the margins of the International Monetary Fund's spring and annual meetings, which will take place in April and October, respectively.
Comprising the 19 most important industrial countries and emerging markets as well as the European Union, G20 is the central forum for informal international cooperation. Since its inception in 1999, the G20 has dedicated itself to addressing the challenges facing the international monetary and financial system in an increasingly closely interconnected global economy.
The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. It was founded in 1999 with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
The European Commission and the European Central Bank represent the EU in these meetings.